Concretization has, unfortunately, taken over once verdant spaces that supported life and gave way to clean air. Buildings, houses and infrastructure in general demand the use of great swatches of land so much so that it's rare to come across extensive green spaces.
We're paying the price for this necessary folly to the point that the ecosystem is far from balanced and pest infestations – which were once effortlessly controlled by natural predators – have become widespread in some regions and the air we breathe is choked with pollutants.
Planting trees is the first step to reclaiming greenery. Arborists have the advantage of being trained in the art of selecting, planting, pruning and nurturing trees. For the rest of us, learning the basics is necessary and the few pointers given below are examples.
Water from seedling to adulthood
Trees need the most water during the initial stages i.e. during the seedling stage through to ‘adolescence'. But what many fail to realize is that they do continue to require watering even when they reach adulthood although not as much. Late spring to autumn – the annual growing period – should see you provide adequate water. You'll know how much by following the instructions given by the nursery.
Mulching is a necessity in the initial stages because it prevents newly planted trees from losing precious moisture. Ideally, the organic matter should be laid 2 to 4 inches deep so as to cover the entire root system. The trunk of the plant shouldn't be covered, however; just leave about 2 inches free to prevent it from decay. Also, mulch that's too thick can prevent gas exchange so refrain from laying on a dense layer.
All newly planted plants require fertilizer because soil conditions may not have them in abundance. Some plants also require more or less of certain nutrients in which case it's necessary to provide it artificially. The choice is yours whether you want to go with green options like compost or store-bought products. Compost is great but takes time to create while store-bought fertilizer is less environmentally-friendly but readily available.
Before purchasing and using fertilizer, find out what the pH levels are in your soil as well as the organic matter content. A simple soil testing kit can provide accurate readings. With mature trees, periodic soil testing continues to be necessary even if they appear healthy. Arrange to have an arborist visit and do the needful.
Check the root collar
The point where the roots meet the stem or trunk is the root collar and there's a tendency for it to be encircled by roots if proper planting techniques are not followed. Strangling is common but completely avoidable with good planting methods, periodic checks, and loosening the soil around the base of the tree.
Like watering and fertilization, pruning is a must and should begin to be practiced when trees are very young. Removing dead and diseased branches keep the rest healthy, improve tree structure, maintain safety (fallen branches are reduced) and enhance vigor. Different trees respond differently to pruning and you can learn what yours does the best with by going through a tree guide or consulting with an arborist.
Trees should be considered investments more important than luxury goods. They clean the air, provide shade and serve as support systems for life. It's our job to make sure they live long, healthy lives.
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Vegetation removal is ideal for the regular maintenance of outdoor spaces, for the growth of beautiful trees and the avoidance of unwanted shrubs. For a few tips to help in tree planting and maintenance, browse this website.
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